As most of you know, I was diagnosed seven years ago with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. For most of the intervening time, it remained quiet and uneventful. Lots of blood tests and doctor's appointments and not much else.
Then last year, between May and December, my white blood count more than doubled and I was getting more and more easily fatigued. After the first of the year, I had a bone marrow biopsy, a CT scan, and a lymphedectomy (removal of a lymph node), and the implantation of a chemo port. The doctor had mentioned back in January that chemo was probably 6-9 months away. Well, last week when I went for an appointment, to my shock and surprise, he told me we couldn't wait any longer.
Leukemia causes a proliferation of white blood cells that are "broken." Over the course of seven years, my white cells have grown so numerous that there's no room for my red blood cells. Due to this, I am extremely short of breath. Since Christmas, and maybe even before, just walking a short distance makes me sound like I've run a race. If we were to wait any longer on the chemo, my numbers would just get worse.
So, I found myself at Texas Oncology in Allen bright and early this morning, hooked up to a machine! I am receiving a combination treatment of Fludarabine, Cyclophosphamide, and Rituxan. Medical advances are amazing--Rituxan (a monoclonal antibody that targets specific cancer cells) was only in the testing phase when I was diagnosed!
At any rate, so far all is well. I'm so worn out, though--now whether that has to do with my treatment or the nerves leading up to it, I don't know.
I hope you follow along with me on this journey. As my dear friend Nicolas said, "I promised you a life of adventure, dear. We just didn't know it was going to be this kind of adventure."